The contract, which is worth £1.7 million, will enable a hybrid cloud approach and provide flexible IT infrastructure for high availability services, according to NTU’s infrastructure services manager Amanda Ferguson.
The deal will see the university reduce the number of cabinets in its onsite data centre facility by over half, from nine to just three, a move which it hopes will help meet its aim to cut carbon emissions by 48 percent by 2020 and decrease capital expenditure.
Ferguson said: “Just with fewer servers we’re looking at a 40 percent reduction in power consumption and cooling. More than that, we’ve spent less than half of the 2009 refresh on this new infrastructure approach, and we’re getting far more for the money.”
She explained that the university last invested in refreshing its two data centre sites in 2009.
She said: “Five years on, when discussions started around updating, we knew we wanted the means to gain greater flexibility as well as efficiency. We want the ability to move data and workloads to the most appropriate place for delivery and performance at certain points during the year.”
Ferguson added the contract will help to prepare NTU to move applications to the cloud.
She said: “With this project, we’re preparing for a hybrid cloud approach, where we can keep business critical data on premise and then push other stuff out to the cloud as and when required.”
The agreement was set up via the JANET (Joint Academic Network) cloud and data centre framework in six months, compared to the 14 months it would have taken for Nottingham Trent to go through the procurement process alone, according to Ferguson.
The project is almost finished, with peer persistence due to be installed on the storage array for the final stage.
This will allow NTU “to push data out to the cloud quickly and easily. Being able to move servers around internally and externally depending on need in this way will create the optimal environment for us”, Ferguson explained.
She emphasised the importance of student and user experience amid an ever-growing demand for capacity, adding: “the flexibility and elasticity this new infrastructure approach is our answer to achieving our goal of high performance where and when we need it.”
NTU has 3,500 staff and 28,000 students across three campuses.